Biking in Vancouver and other areas of British Columbia has become a popular method of commuting and getting exercise — particularly when the weather is nice. However, when more cyclists are on the road, it often means more bicycle accidents.
In fact, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) reports that an average of five cyclists per day are injured in B.C. during the summer months, with an average of 670 cyclists injured and six killed between the months of June and September every year. Regionally, on average, 120 cyclists are injured, and two are killed, from June through September on Vancouver Island every year.
One of the top causes of cyclists’ injuries is negligent and distracted driving.
Of course, the risk of being involved in an accident should not prevent cyclists from taking to the roads on their bikes. With that said, everyone should be a little more cautious — drivers and cyclists alike.
If you are involved in a Vancouver bike accident, you should know how to pursue an ICBC claim for compensation.
How to Seek Compensation After a Bike Accident in Vancouver
ICBC handles car crashes. So, if you are a cyclist who is involved in an accident with another cyclist, ICBC would not handle the claim. If you are involved in an accident with a B.C. insured vehicle, Autoplan no-fault (Part 7) insurance benefits are extended to cyclists. This applies regardless of who was at fault for the accident. No-fault coverage will pay for certain things such as physio and massage at the M.S.P. rate. There is also limited coverage available in the event you are totally disabled and unable to return to work.
If you are involved in a collision with a B.C. vehicle and it is not your fault then, in addition to no-fault (Part 7) benefits, you may also be entitled to make a tort claim for compensation under the motorist’s Third Party Liability coverage. By law, every B.C. motorist must carry a minimum of $200,000 in third party liability coverage, although the vast majority of motorists have more than this. Compensation under this coverage (tort coverage) can cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of repairs to your bicycle, as well as damages for pain and suffering. There may be additional compensation which an experienced lawyer can assist with.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
Most cyclists who are involved in a crash have no idea what to expect in terms of seeking damages after a crash. Many are completely unaware that they are eligible for any benefits from ICBC.
[su_note note_color=”#f5f8fa” radius=”0″]With that in mind, here is a list of steps you should take after a bicycle accident:
Report the accident to the police.
The first thing you should do – injuries permitting, of course – is to report the bicycle accident to the police. Make sure you stick to the facts when reporting your accident. Make sure that the police get your story, too, and not just the story of the other driver. Ask for a copy of the accident report.
Get contact information.
In order to file your claim, you must have the contact information of the at-fault driver. You should also obtain the contact information of any witnesses to your accident. You may need their testimony at a later date in order to substantiate fault.
Document your injuries.
Seek medical care and keep a thorough record of your injuries and treatment, as well as any other damages that you incur. For example, have your injuries prevented you from being able to go to work and caused lost wages? Have you sustained psychological injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that prevent you from living life as you once did? Did you need to replace your bike because it was severely damaged? Document everything related to the crash.
File your claim.
You can file a tort claim as a victim of negligence. This type of claim alleges that the unreasonable and unsafe actions of the motorist were the direct cause of your injuries. In the vast majority of cases, you are required to file your claim within two years’ time from the date of the accident.
Hire an experienced bike accident lawyer.
Filing an ICBC claim against a driver can be a complicated thing to do. You should not expect ICBC to just cut you a check. ICBC will likely try to pay you as little money as possible. To improve your chances of recovering your maximum settlement amount, it is within your best interests to work with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer.[/su_note]
How Our Vancouver Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
Injuries sustained by cyclists involved in a crash with a motor vehicle are often much more severe than injuries sustained by drivers or their passengers. Still, cyclists often face more hurdles when trying to file an ICBC claim.
If you have been in a Vancouver bike accident, a lawyer can guide you through your recovery options, including:
- How to file a claim
- What you will need to provide during the claim process
- How to prove fault
- How to prove damages
- What types and amount of compensation may be available.
At Klein Lawyers LLP, our aggressive bicycle accident lawyers will work hard on your behalf to seek compensation for your injuries. We know that taking legal action is probably the last thing on your mind when you are recovering from bicycle accident injuries. Still, we believe it is important that you act quickly to protect your right to compensation.
We encourage you to contact us for your free consultation today.